I first came to the realization I was bisexual in high school. It was not until this month I decided to officially come out, due to a number of reasons. Bisexuality comes with plenty of stigmas and assumptions from others that stem from the media, one’s heritage and even the LGBTQ+ community.

Bisexuality is as valid as any other sexuality. It is assumed by some that bisexuality is a fad, and people only declare themselves so to be a part of the newest trend.

Movies and TV shows reflect that bisexual people are only there for threesomes or romantic plot twists. Gender roles, not only within society but in mass media portrayals, make it easier for women to come out as bisexual, due to fetishization and over-sexualization, while it is typically much harder for men. Bisexual men are seen as gay before being seen as bisexual.

José Carrillo, whose identity is being protected under a pseudonym, identifies as a bisexual Hispanic male. Carrillo finds living out his sexuality difficult due to his gender and heritage.

“For men coming out as bisexual, many people don’t consider you as masculine, and they may even develop a more feminine perspective of you,” Carrillo said. “I feel like I seem different to other people, and they might just disregard my attraction to women and just assume I am gay if I am with another guy.”

Carrillo struggles with the notion of “macho” masculinity and strict religion within his heritage that conflict with his sexuality.

“Being attracted to your same gender is considered a sin in most Christian and Catholic religions,” Carrillo said. “It hinders the thought of coming out so much — to the point that you must hide it and even reject your true self.”

Even within the LGBTQ+ community, bisexuality can be controversial. In 2019, some people in the LGBTQ+ community believe being bisexual means you’re only at a “rest stop” to being fully gay. Sexuality is a fluid spectrum. Although some choose a binary route, that is not the only opinion for all. I’ve found solace and many friends within the LGBTQ+ community.

I struggled with coming to terms with my sexuality, because I am currently in a relationship with a man, and I feared the stereotypes people would assume about me or our relationship. In actuality, I have been bisexual for years but had not fully acknowledged it.

I told my boyfriend I was bisexual before coming out to anybody else. I knew that if the person I love the most could fully accept and understand me, then I could come out to the rest of society. Being bisexual just means I have even more love I can give back to the world. Accepting my sexuality was freeing for myself.

Don’t let stereotypes and stigmas prohibit you from loving who you want.